Hepatitis C drug Harvoni (which combines Solvadi with ledipasvir) was approved on Friday by the FDA.
The prescription drug promises to cure Hepatitis C sufferers in as few as eight weeks.
While the drug is meant to be an easy cure, it will likely remain out of the price range of most of the 3.2 million Americans who suffer from the disease.
Insurance companies are already balking at the notion of having to cover the $94,000 treatment, which may force patients to try and pay out-of-pocket for the drug.
Gilead Sciences Inc, stands by the high cost of this unique prescription option.
“Older therapies were not sufficiently effective or tolerable to continue to be used as the standard of care,” said Gregg Alton, the executive vice-president for the California-based company.
Is $1,125 #hepatitisC pill from Bay Area drugmaker worth it? http://t.co/ZsJhwwESIk pic.twitter.com/BEjygGx2j1
— SF Chronicle (@sfchronicle) October 11, 2014
Said Alton, “We will continue to work with payers to help them understand the scientific and medical evidence.”
He seems to have missed that it’s not the science people are struggling with—It’s the price tag.
If every person suffering from Hepatitis C took the medicine as priced by Gildead, it would reportedly equal or exceed the price of ALL other drug medications in the United States!
“We believe that the price being demanded is still inappropriately high for a product targeting such a large group of patients,” said Express Scripts Holding Co. spokesman David Whitrap.
“New innovations do not always require inappropriate, premium pricing.”
Is Harvoni’s “wonder drug” overpriced to an exploitative degree?
A report by Bloomberg on the drug pointed out that many of the people who suffer from Hepatitis C in America come from low income backgrounds.
The only hope for Hepatitis C patients is that cheaper alternatives are soon made available or the US government does something to regulate pricing.
Otherwise, the “wonder drug” meant to cure this devastating disease will likely be out of reach for the majority of the people who actually need it.